what's in our camera bag

We've had a number of people asking which lenses and camera we use, so we thought it made sense to have the answers on here permanently and maybe give you some ideas for your own camera bag.

We're street photographers (although self-taught and amateur), yet the fact that we haven't gotten around to updating our crop-frame DSLRs means that our kit is within the reach of anyone within even a passing interest in photography. And whilst we are constantly wanting to buy more lenses, the four that we carry will allow you take take excellent photos in almost any situation - whether it's the old man at a market stall, the stunning landscape on your hike or cool photos of your new buddies and you having fun.


CAMERAS


Canon 70D

For months we were umming and ahhhing over the need to upgrade from our entry-level SLR, not keen to have to replace all our lenses should we opt for a full-frame model. And then we discovered the Canon 70D.

It was an easy decision.

Are we happy with our choice? Absolutely. The increase in quality from the 550D below is clear, although we have found that you have to be much more aware of photography dos and don'ts; get your settings wrong or don't focus correctly and it is not nearly as forgiving. We've been interested in photography for years and so are quite comfortable with a more advanced model, but for those new to SLRs, it would probably make more sense to trial an entry level camera first.

The great news? It comes with lots of lovely new upgrades including a 20.2MP resolution, WIFI and articulated touchscreen and the ability to shoot HDR without the need to created a new profile. In fact, it really does have many of the features of the more expensive full-frame cameras, including the ability to film in amazing HD at a quality level neither of us we expecting.

It is of little surprise that many people choose it over the much more expensive 7D.


Canon 550D

This camera is no longer a spring chicken. At four years old, she's about ready to be retired (with increasingly large amounts of duct tape holding the less necessary parts of the camera in place) but she'll still get the shot.

This was Emily's entry level SLR, and whilst we're unlikely to get another one of this standard, it is still a great camera for newbies to the SLR game or talented amateurs. 

Unfortunately this model was discontinued but has been upgraded several times with the 750D/T5i now available. These are both excellent entry level SLRs we would recommend. 


Canon Powershot G15 / G16

We spent a long time deciding on this camera. Months before we left we knew we wanted a point and shoot for those times when carrying around a large SLR was cumbersome, drew too much attention or wasn't practical (like when you're on a horse), but we also knew we didn't want to compromise on photo quality. 

 
 

The camera we initially wanted was the most recent upgrade to this one - the G16. It had just come out, and was exactly what we were looking for. Unfortunately, it was just too expensive at the time.

Now, however it's an absolute bargain. 


LENSES


Canon EF 50mm f/1.4

We love this lens. If it was attached to a full-frame SLR, I think it would never be removed. Unfortunately, the equivalent focal range on our camera means it's not ideal for street photography, but when it gets the shot - by god does it get the shot.

 
 

For those on a crop-frame but a little more serious about their photography, this is your reasonably priced (it retails at around £250) option for taking professional quality, jaw-droppingly beautiful images. And, when you're ready to upgrade your camera, the 50mm lens will still fit full-frame models.

It's an essential bit of kit for any aspiring photographer. 


Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8

This is a fairly recent purchase, only part of our bag since December, but already irreplaceable. It was a bargain at £180. The equivalent focal length of of 36mm means that the Canon 24mm pancake lens is ideal for street photography, and the extremely compact size results in a camera size that will not draw attention when trying to get that covert shot.

 
 

The only downsides are that photos taken at or around f2.8 are subject to a certain degree of vignetting (softening/shading at the edges of the photo). We personally quite like this look, and at this price, certainly weren't complaining!


Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6

This was bought as an upgrade to the kit lens supplied with the camera, and is actually pretty bloody good.

 
 

Due to its size, it is often relegated to the bottom of the bag but is our go-to lens for landscapes. It is no good for covert photography, but when we're stationary and can take our time with the shot, it produces surprisingly good photos, even at the extremes of focal length.


Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Lens - Canon Fit

We had been wanting (well, needing really) a wide angle camera for so long - so we finally gave in and got one this summer. This was our first foray into non-canon lenses, but given that the equivalent in the canon range was significantly beyond our budget, we decided to give this Sigma version a go.

 
 

And we're not disappointed. Even on a crop-frame camera, the Sigma 10-20mm f3.5 has allowed us to capture far superior landscape shots than the lens above, and when the focal length is increased to 20mm, we've had fun capturing more traditional street scenes.


Camera Insurance

Even the best travel insurance in the world wouldn't cover the loss of our camera equipment, and with many cheap plans only insuring single items to a value of £100, we knew we'd need something better.

Step forward Photoguard! For around £150 a year, we have world wide insurance for all our kit, plus a laptop. Thankfully we haven't had to use it, but we wouldn't dream of travelling without it.

Unfortunately, it's only available for UK residents, but if this is you, definitely go and get a quote.


ACCESSORIES


Tripod

Ever noticed how there are pretty much no photos of us together on the blog? Well, after several years of hopeless selfies with far too much arm, things are about to change - we've finally invested in a decent tripod!

 
 

What we didn't realise at the time however, is quite how expensive a piece of kit this could be. For those of you, like us, looking for the best combination of functionality, design and price, we've discovered our perfect tripod - the Prima PHTR001 Foldable Tripod. It extends to 153cm, it's got a ball head, it's strong enough to hold an SLR plus a heavy lens but lightweight enough for hand-luggage and it costs only £79.99.

Seriously, this is nearly half the price of better known brand models. 


Canon Remote

Unless we wanted to spend all our time running to and from the camera, relying on the shutter timer (and we all know how well those shots work out!), once we'd sorted the tripod, the obvious next purchase with the tripod was the Canon Remote.

 
 

Whilst in only works if you're standing on front of the camera - as opposed to at the side - it is the perfect gadget to ensure we can capture a shot or two of us, as a couple, in all these amazing places we visit.


LensPen

If you're anything like us, you're frequently finding bits of dust and the odd smudge on your lenses - no matter how careful you are.

 
 

Finally frustrated with using the edge of a clean t-shirt trick, we invested in a Hamma Classic Lens Pen. It's great at removing finger-prints and debris at absolutely no risk to your expensive lenses.


Leather Case for G15

Like most people, we like pretty things. And when it comes to our cameras, this is no exception. As we bought the G15 as our 'activity camera', we really needed a case with a strap, but nothing too garish.

 
http://azon.ly/45zo
 

This leather case is perfect. It's stylish but provides our camera with all the protection it needs. 


Transcend 1TB Hard Drive

Within 24 hours of leaving for Mexico, one of the worst things that could happen to a photographer happened - our hard drive died. Thankfully, the HD was new and had only a few GBs of data on it, but it could have been so much worse. The culprit? A WD My Passport HD. Apparently, this is not uncommon with this brand - avoid them at all costs! 

 
 

So, we needed a replacement. It took a little while for the trust to be rebuilt but we couldn't be happier with our alternative. The Transcend 1TB is apparently military tested and can be dropped from all sort of crazy heights. Whilst we wouldn't recommend chucking it out of the side of a building, it does seem pretty resilient.

Definitely a keeper!


SanDisk Memory Card

We're pretty vigilant about getting photos off of our camera as soon as possible, but for those times when you know you're not going to make it to a computer for a while, or when you expect to take A LOT of photos on a particularly special day trip, it doesn't hurt to carry a few back up memory cards with you.

 
 

We've both been fans of SanDisk, having upgraded to bigger gigabytes (how did we ever survive without their 64GB before?!) as we got more interested in photography. When travelling, we have at least four SD cards.


SD Card Holder

And we keep those four cards safe in this! This aluminium card holder It can fit six cards in total and keeps them all secure and dust-free whilst they're not in the camera.

 
 

Transcend Card Reader

We carry a lot of gadgets, which means we have an obscenely large number of cables - anything we can do to reduce the size of the 'cable bag' (yes, we really have to have a special bag) is greatly appreciated. Also, the memory card reader on Andrew's Mac is very hit and miss - we needed something more reliable. 

 
 

Enter, the fantastic Transcend Memory Card Reader. Instead of having to carry around a separate cord to attach each camera to the computer, this hand little device does the job nicely instead with a pull-out USB connection. Also accepts a couple of other different cards for even more versatility.


CAMERA STRAP

Bored with the standard black strap which comes with our SLRs, we decided to make them a little more interesting with a multi-colour camera strap. The one in the picture is the one we have, but there are a bunch of different patterns and colours available. 

 
 

With a strap costing less than £10/$10, it's one of the best ways to personalise your little baby (and it means potential thieves aren't automatically aware of your camera brand and model!) 


So, it's clear from this post, and the many hundreds of photos on this site that we are obsessed with photography. However, this means that we need a great way to back up all our images whilst we're on the road. After a disastrous experience with one hard drive and close call with another a few weeks ago we knew we needed to invest in cloud storage and so were delighted to discover idrive.

And the good news? For a limited time we have a great offer for our readers. Sign up via this link, and you can get 75% off a year's cloud storage with idrive. That's less than $15/£10 for a year of 1TB storage - significantly cheaper than elsewhere on the market and a great solution for securely backing up your travel photos, videos and memories.


 

like it? pin it!

Whilst certainly true that you don't need the most expensive gear to take an amazing photo, there are a few bits of kit that we wouldn't be without. Click on the pin to discover what camera's, lenses and accessories we carry on our travels!
 

This post contain affiliate links, meaning that we receive a very small commission on items purchased via these links, at absolutely no extra cost to you. We'll never recommend a product that we don't use and love ourselves, and your purchases help keep Along Dusty Roads, well, on the road! 

what else do we carry?